15 June 2019

First Scandinavian to Be Masters No. 1 Amateur

Through Victor Hovland, Norway has made its way into the Masters’ history books as well as the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Hovland is the fifth non-U.S. player to win the Silver Cup for the best ranking amateur. 

Golf is a popular sport in Norway and now, for the first time ever, the Northern European country has celebrated the success of one of their players at the Masters Tournament. Viktor Hovland lifted his country’s name in the golf realm after becoming the first ever Norwegian to play, make the cut, and also win the Silver Cup - the trophy for the lowest-scoring amateur - at the Masters.

By scoring 72, 71, 71, 71, the 21-year-old Oklahoma State University student finished the tournament on 3-under for T32. Hovland won the amateur trophy by one stroke over Alvaro Otiz. This victory places him in the number one spot on the World Amateur Golf Ranking, moving up from No. 2 before the 2019 Masters. 

Along with Ortiz, Devon Bling, and Takumi Kanaya, Hovland was one of only four amateurs to make the cut. He earned a trip to Augusta National - and the US and British Open events - by winning the US Amateur championship in a dominant fashion at Pebble Beach last year.

Coming from a nation whose men’s golf history is almost non-existent, Hovland is paving a path for the country to catch up with their Scandinavian neighbor, Sweden, which has been churning out world-class male players for the past three decades. Up until this point, Norway has only had Suzann Pettersen, a 15-time winner on the LPGA Tour, to cheer on.

Hovland is inspired by the elite players, Henrik Stenson and Alex Moran, from his neighboring country. “They say this is a game you can do for a long time,” he remarked. “Even though I’m in a spot where I’ve got a lot of opportunities, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

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